NATO says 'no intention' to intervene in Iran

AFP , Thursday 3 Nov 2011

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen asserts that the alliance has no intention to use force against Iran, favouring a political and diplomatic approach to the nuclear question

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference in Brussels November 3, 2011. (Photo:Reuters)

NATO has no intention of intervening in Iran and backs a diplomatic solution to the nuclear dispute, the alliance's chief said Thursday, after reports of a debate in Israel over launching an attack.

"Let me stress that NATO has no intention whatsoever to intervene in Iran and NATO is not engaged as an alliance in the Iran question," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a news conference.

"We support of course the international efforts to pursue political and diplomatic solutions to the Iran problem," he said, urging Tehran to comply with UN Security Council resolutions demanding a halt in nuclear activities.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was seeking cabinet support for a military strike on Iran, after days of speculation about plans for an attack.

London's Guardian newspaper reported that Britain's armed forces were stepping up contingency plans in the event the United States opted for military action against Iran.

Thursday's edition cited unnamed defence ministry contacts as saying they believed Washington might rush forward plans for missile strikes on Iranian facilities -- and might ask for British military help.

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